Low back pain (in the lumbar region of the spine) is one of the most common complaints of patients who come to the offices of Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine. Our experienced doctors are excellent diagnosticians as well as skilled physiatrists — doctors who specialize in pain management and restoration of function. We focus on back pain from a pragmatic perspective. All of our physical therapy and treatment methods are designed to reduce your pain and get you up and running (at least metaphorically) as quickly as possible.
Is My Back Pain Serious?
When you suddenly feel a sudden stab of low back pain after lifting a heavy package, bending over, or even sneezing, it is easy to worry: Have I caused myself significant damage? Will I require long-term treatment? Will I be unable to work or take care of my children? Will I need surgery?
Fortunately, in most cases, low back pain is not serious and will heal with simple home care remedies, like rest, applications of heat and ice, and over-the-counter pain-relievers. Though you may be temporarily incapacitated, most low back pain doesn’t result from a serious condition and will resolve quickly.
Nonetheless, if your pain is extremely severe, or doesn’t respond to simple measures in a few days, you need to let us have a close look at what’s going on. By checking in with our knowledgeable professionals, who diagnose and treat conditions of the spine on a daily basis, you will soon find out what is causing your low back pain and how your pain can be best addressed. At Long Island Spine, our doctors and physical therapists are admired for our high level of skill and appreciated for our empathy. Ours is a holistic practice, always treating you as the complete person you are.
If your pain has resulted from a traumatic injury while engaging in sports or due to a slip and fall or car accident, you will also need urgent care since an untreated tear, fracture, or rupture can result in long-term significant damage.
Common Causes of Low Back Pain
It is no secret that older people suffer from low back pain at a far greater rate than young people. This is because osteoarthritis, the normal wear and tear of aging, takes its toll, especially on the low back which bears the brunt of supporting and stabilizing the whole body.
As we age, our bones typically become more brittle, particularly in patients with osteoporosis, and the discs between our vertebrae wear thin. Even when such deterioration is mild, it makes injuries like disc herniation more likely to occur. Nonetheless, accidents (vehicular, construction, sports-related, occupational, or slip and fall) and diseases of various kinds can also cause injuries to the low back.
If you are coping with low back pain that is not resolving or is worsening, come to Long Island Spine where we can accurately diagnose the problem and usually begin making you feel better at your initial visit. It may stem from:
- Arthritis of any kind (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)
- Disc herniation or painful disc
- Pinched spinal nerve
- Vertebral fracture (compression or spondylolysis)
- Torn tendon or ligament
- Injury to the sacroiliac joint
It is important for our insightful doctors to diagnose the origin of your back in order to determine the proper therapy indicated in your case. Knowing which particular actions (bending, standing, walking, twisting) exacerbate your pain can assist us in pinpointing its cause.
Some individuals are born with congenital defects that may cause low back pain; others may develop low back pain during the growth process, after excessive weight gain, or during pregnancy.
Some patients presenting with low back pain may be suffering from a condition unrelated to spinal damage, such as a kidney stone, a gynecological disorder, an infection or cancer. At Long Island Spine, we are careful to rule out these possibilities before proceeding to treat you.
Diagnosing Low Back Pain
While modern medicine has many sophisticated diagnostic methods, at Long Island Spine we do not rely on a single X-ray, CT or MRI scan to determine our course of treatment. Taking a careful medical history and doing a thorough physical examination are also important. We pride ourselves on matching our patients’ symptoms to the relevant portions of the images we examine since we are deeply committed to treating the patient, not the film.
Other tools helpful in diagnosing low back pain are diagnostic injections to pinpoint which of your nerves is affected and electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies.
Most patients are pleased to find that the low back pain treatments we implement are, though safe and noninvasive, highly effective. They require no downtime after therapeutic appointments. Though in some cases it is necessary for us to refer extreme cases to colleagues who are surgeons, the vast majority of our patients recover with our low back pain physical therapy program, typically in combination with our other innovative therapy, including:
- Spinal epidural injections under fluoroscopic guidance
- Acupuncture (available in our Great Neck and East Meadow offices)
- The judicious use of medication to control inflammation
- Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) technology to decrease pain by administering electromagnetic waves at varying frequencies
Our low back pain physical therapists address the primary issues you face: pain and loss of normal function. They are well-schooled in all aspects of the physical therapy process, and so are able to map out an exercise regimen of both active and passive movements that will increase your range of motion and greatly decrease your level of pain. When necessary, myofascial or spinal injection procedures, or modality-based therapy combined with acupuncture, and most often a combined and individualized treatment approach, will most likely provide you with relief and a level of comfort you may not have dreamed possible. Our practice really does provide “one-stop shopping” for patients who very often are in the need of timely diagnostic assessments and evidence-based and combined care strategies.
Contact Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine
Don’t hesitate to contact our offices because you fear your low back pain will lead to invasive surgery, complications and a prolonged recovery period. In most cases, your low back pain can be successfully handled by our outstanding physiatrists and physical therapists. We have provided a large number of patients with prompt relief and renewed hope for a pain-free future and would like nothing better than to count you among them.
WE HELP PATIENTS THROUGHOUT LONG ISLAND INCLUDING THE CITIES OF GREAT NECK, EAST MEADOW, HUNTINGTON, LINDENHURST, AND LAWRENCE.